It is virtually certain that there will, for the first time, be some mention of racism in the Treaty. But much depends on the wording and placing of a new article. European Community competence would open the way to European legislation and a common standard of protection throughout the Union against discrimination. But if the tackling of racism is left to inter-governmental action there could be little or no practical progress.
An amendment authorising Community action was proposed by the Kahn Commission, a body set up with the unanimous consent of member states in 1994. The wording this group proposed was almost identical to the amendment suggested earlier by an independent group of experts, the Starting Line group.
It will be a serious setback to human rights in Europe if the European year marks the rejection of an effective Treaty amendment. A heavy responsibility rests on our next government.
Member, Starting Line group